Missing Addend with Dunkin Donuts

Feb 7, 2015

Does anyone else feel like the year is slipping away but there is still so much to teach?


Just me?

We have spent so much time and focus on helping our students understand the parts of a number; the connection between addition and subtraction; how to visualize numbers.  But they do need some more review/practice on what to do when you don't know the parts of a number.

Counting on.

Our firsties have been enjoying and responding well to all of the real world connections that we have been trying to make.  Jess and I started our search for some activities.  Jess found a pin from Differentiation Station Creations filled with ideas that included donuts.

Yep!  Love this idea.

Well...actually, I would LOVE this idea more if it included real donuts.  Preferably chocolate frosted donuts!

After sitting down and discussing how to make the donut activity work for our small groups, we decided we actually did need some real donuts!  Dunkin Donuts was kind enough to donate some boxes to us.  Our focus is on 10, so Jess stuck some tens frames inside.  But as for the donuts....we could not figure out a manipulative that would really look like a donut.  We used lids instead.

The lesson took place at our small group tables.  We paired our students up.  One firstie took on the role of the customer and the other was the donut shop owner.  The story goes as follows: "The customer always wants 10 donuts in their box.  But the owner puts in a different amount.  The customer must determine how many more donuts they need to have ten total."

There was excitement, laughter, and NOISE!  But there was counting on, there were known parts, student led teaching, and lots of learning.  We could not have asked for more.

They loved it!

After a sufficient amount of practice time, Jess and I wanted to transfer this learning to paper.  We found a freebie from "Teach Me Visually" on TPT.  We used 4 missing addend problems with ten as the total.  Instead of a donut box, the donuts were on a plate. 

It really ended up being a fantastic way for us to informally assess our students.  I think they are ready for next week as...

Teddy Bear Store Owners.


  1. Great idea! You guys always rock. I love looking at all the fun ways you teach your firsties. Thanks for the comment on my blog. We absolutely LOVE nonfiction too and can't wait to dive in deeper.
    Karen Rowland

    Adventures With Firsties


  2. What a meaningful activity for your firsties! I love it and I'm going to steal it!!

  3. I'm stealing it too!!! It's such a fun way to learn this skill. Are you going to move the activity into workstations or tubs?

  4. I'm stealing it too!!! It's such a fun way to learn this skill. Are you going to move the activity into workstations or tubs?

    1. I think it would work well at a workstation. We did play some partner games that corresponded to this skill. I hope your students like it!


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